4 Ways to Use Essential Oils in your #Fitspo Life

I’ve loved working with Bosisto’s on this post.   They make such awesome and accessible products from 100% pure, natural essential oils that are perfect for integration into both personal and family household routines daily.


Despite really, actively trying to avoid falling into the ‘busy’ trap that gets me feeling constantly anxious, worried and stressed,  our family is on the cusp of a really, freaking busy winter season of sport.  Dave, Ethan and Nixon all play rugby over winter, training began this week, I’m the rugby club captain so the sport literally consumes all of my free time, Ethan plays basketball for both his school and North Harbour and Dave is (always lol) training for his next marathon.  Me, I’m just in survival mode, sneaking a run or walk in when I can! The amount of sports footwear in our house is mind-boggling as is the amount of sweaty laundry I’m smashing out each week.

2018 is a funny old year for Dave and I.  We are trying to look at the daily routines and processes in our home on a micro level and implement improvements, tweaks and hacks wherever we can.  The goal is to be constantly simplifying, reducing and making more sense of how we live.

Finding more natural alternatives to everyday products we use around the house fits in well with our intentions to not only minimise stress and stuff but also to minimise the chemicals we use in our home and on our bodies.  Dave is a really easy-sell when it comes to this. Though the man will obsess about a running injury he is super adverse to taking medicine, paracetamol is a last resort!  After an introduction to essential oils about 12 months ago, I’ve loved learning new ways to introduce them into our family routines.

So with sporting commitments showing no sign of slowing, it’s the perfect time to share how we use Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lavender oils daily.  Australian heritage brand, Bosisto’s range of oils are totally complementary to our goal of simplifying day to day life. They are all multi-tasking marvels that are available as both liquid and sprays, making essential oil use even easier and more convenient.

4 Ways to Use Essential Oils in your #Fitspo Life

DIY Lavender & Tea Tree Oil Gym Gear Spray:

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Bosisto's Essential Oils

I’ve whipped up two bottles of this gorgeous spray, one for Dave’s car and a second to pop in my gym bag.  The calming, deodorizing properties of Lavender combined with the bacteria-fighting power of Tea Tree oil make the perfect pairing to combat sweaty, post-workout odour.  Dave drives to the forest most days to run the trails, so his car (and cloth seats) need a helping hand to stay fresh, as do yoga mats – ever cleaned yours? Spritz this gorgeous spray around like magic, and keep that post-workout high rolling throughout the day.

I picked up a little spray bottle in a travel pack for $3 from a dollar store, filled it with distilled water and added 5 drops of Bosisto’s Lavender Essential Oil Blend and 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil.

Shake and spray!

Eucalyptus Oil for Muscle Pain:  
Heading into his trail marathon a couple of weeks ago, Dave was suffering an Achilles injury which was stressing him out like a bad case of Man Flu.  At this point in his preparation it was too late to pop some heel wedges in his shoes or anything like that, so, massage and rest was how he tackled the injury.  Always preferring natural remedies, Dave used Bosisto’s 100% Pure Eucalyptus Oil, massaged twice a day on his Achilles and calf muscle. The soothing, warming effect of the Eucalyptus Oil worked wonders on his symptoms, and has since become his go-to for all of his running-related niggles.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Bosisto's Essential Oils

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Bosisto's Essential OilsLavender Oil for sleep and rest:  I’ve been using Lavender Oil as a sleep aid for a couple of years now and honestly, wouldn’t be without it.  Both Ethan and Nixon find it hard to wind down at the end of the day, with Ethan having severe difficulty approx once per week where he might struggle for hours to fall asleep.  Implementing a calming, relaxing bedtime routine has helped both boys (and Dave and I!) finish each day much more peacefully, and with less stress and struggle around switching off and sinking into a restful slumber.

There are three ways I use Lavender at bedtime;

  1. Spray around the bedroom at night – yes, you can buy pure Lavender Oil in a spray aerosol!  Bosisto’s have made using essential oils even easier and more convenient with this genius packaging.
  2. Use an aromatherapy diffuser to spread that Lavender goodness far and wide throughout the house
  3. Create a skin-safe dilution to dab on your babes at bed-time!  I use 5 drops of Lavender oil in 10ml of almond oil and rub a drop on the soles of feet, behind the knees, on the insides of elbows and on the neckline of PJ’s.

Tea Tree Oil for foot health: Running shoes, rugby boots, touch rugby shoes, basketball sneakers, gumboots, (expensive Dr Martin’s school shoes that are used to play Basketball in every day at school grrrr)……we have ALL the shoes in our household and they are all used for very active pursuits.  Keeping them fresh is hard, keeping active feet healthy and odour free is also hard. Tea Tree Spray from Bosisto’s is a natural antifungal agent and so easy to apply; simply spray shoes to freshen and help knock out fungal infections such as tinea, follow up by spraying affected skin after washing and drying feet.

Ethan wears 100% wool socks to school and they have an odour like no other lol.  Adding a capful or two of Tea Tree Oil to the laundry is literally the ONLY thing I’ve found to combat and eliminate the smell of teenage, schoolboy feet – at least until the next day!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Bosisto's Essential Oils

For more great ideas on how to use natural, high-quality essential oils around your home, head to Bosisto’s Facebook Page and get yourself in the draw to win an amazing prize pack!  Trust me you will LOVE these products, they are so incredibly useful as well as naturally therapeutic.

Home – Easy Eco-Friendly Product Switches

Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Who would ever have imagined that Bob the Builder – a beloved children’s show – would be so ahead of its time?  With sustainability and environmental issues ramping up in importance and public awareness every day, the onus on individuals to increase responsibility as both consumers and caretakers of the land is becoming a more widely accepted proposition.  

Taking action on a micro, personal level, and claiming responsibility for the generation and disposal of waste in our own households is the first step in the much bigger picture of building long-term, sustainable communities.  I’m sooooo not a traditional ‘green’ early adopter – anyone who knows me can tell you that – but, I do love products and brands that make sense, make my life easier and combine ethical integrity and environmental concern with common-sense practicality.

So, here are some brands and products that tick all of these boxes and that we’re using daily in our home or out and about;

6 Green ‘n Easy options for reducing household waste

Ecopack Compostable Plastic Free Bags and Bin Liners

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

I going to be honest here – I’ve never once considered ditching bin liners and using layered newspaper.

Never once.  I mean who even HAS newspaper any more to start with, and secondly, ew.

Which brings me to my first eco-friendly find; 100% compostable, plastic-free and biodegradable bags and bin liners from Ecobagsnz.  Single-use plastic presents a major environmental concern around the world.  Determined to make a change here in New Zealand is locally owned and operated Ecobagsnz.  They produce a range of ethically produced bags suitable for both retail lines and personal use.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

The Ecopack Compostable range eliminates the need to reconsider my stance on drippy newspaper (thank goodness!).

Available at leading supermarkets and health food stores nationwide, the Ecopack Compostable range is available in 6 different sizes and only takes around 90 days to break down in your compost!

ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 27L (20) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 36L (15) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 60L (5) RRP $6.90
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 80L (10) RRP $8.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 140L (5) RRP $6.50
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 240L (5) RRP $8.80

Reusable Produce Bags from The Rubbish Whisperer

Another kiwi company determined to reduce single-use plastic bags is The Rubbish Whisperer.

Most of us care about the environment but don’t realise the scale of the pollution our disposable lifestyles are creating. The Rubbish Whisperer shows people how easy it is to have a huge positive impact on the environment by making small and simple changes. www.rubbishwhisperer.co.nz/pages/aboutus

I’m loving the super-cute Reusable Produce Bags, RRP $22.49 per 5 pack.  NZ made from strong and lightweight polyester tulle, these beautifully bright bags are a fun visual reminder to by-pass the plastic bag roll next time you’re in the fruit and vege aisle.  An added timesaving bonus of the quick-dry fabric is that you can wash produce directly in the bag!

Noteworthy: 1% of all Rubbish Whisperer sales are donated to local conservation projects!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Reusable Produce Bags

Put your money where your mouth is: Shop The Source

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste ShoppingFinding retailers that are supportive of your zero-waste efforts can be tough.  Cutting through the layers and layers of packaging that almost every retail product is subject to can be disheartening and in my case, a massive workout for my recycle bin.  Shopping at the most established zero waste grocery store in Australasia is now easy if you live in Auckland.  The Source has two beautiful locations in Milford and Kumeu and is stocked to the rafters with delicious ways to say YES to healthy, nutrient-dense food.  They also supply kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup on tap, you can make your own nut-butters, shop for home cleaning supplies……and take everything home in your own reusable containers, use paper bags or purchase your zero-waste supplies in store.

Genius!

Online shopping will be all systems go in the next 8 weeks so everyone in New Zealand can get a taste of this awesome shopping experience. 

Follow The Source Kumeu here > Instagram, Facebook and The Source Milford here > Instagram, Facebook

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Shopping

Drink SMART and ditch the disposables

It sounds dire but plastic straws have to be one of the greatest ecological follies ever unleashed upon the world by the industrial age.  Trust me, once you go stainless you never go back, they deliver a really lovely drinking experience especially with smoothies!

My faves are these beauties from CaliWoods, available in cocktail, smoothie, drinking, tall and bubble tea options plus each four pack comes with a cleaner brush!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Stainless Steel Straws

Another Melissa Must-Have is my New Zealand made CuppaCoffeeCup.  These beauties are lightweight, durable and 100% recyclable, plus they showcase NZ artists in a range of designs.  Released just in time for Mother’s Day is the new ‘Miromiro & Manuka design by Janine Millington – I’ll be hosting a giveaway at the end of the month so keep your eyes peeled!

You can find the CuppaCoffeeCup range in Farmers, Whitcoulls and selected gift and kitchen stores for around $16.50 each.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Reusable Coffee Cup

Go Green with Personal Care

Four months in and I’m still raving about my Lunette Menstrual Cup.  Yes, the whole concept is a bit weird at first when you’ve been using tampons or pads for over 20 YEARS!  But ladies all I can say is, change is good and this change is one you will NOT regret.  Read more about my personal experience here > Lunette Menstrual Cup

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

Weleda Skincare

Skin care is BIG news when it comes to living your best sustainable, eco-friendly life.  The brands you choose to spend money on should reflect your own personal values and help support your retail decision making.  You are applying these products to you skin, the largest organ in your body as well as the precious skin of your little people so, a considered choice made by any consumer one is to be respected.

A firm fave in our home for years now, is the huge range from Weleda.  With ethical and sustainable standards that are so aspirational (read about them here), it’s easy to find yourself in the midst of a guilt-free bathroom cabinet makeover!

Three of our faves are; Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil, After Shave Balm and KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Washes.

Look at those beautiful glass bottles!!!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Weleda Skincare

Beauty Review: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Electric Toothbrush

Looking for something totally fabulous to spoil Mum with or (even better!) to pop on your own Mother’s Day wish list?  This toothbrush is IT.  It’s hard to believe that I’m writing with such affection about a toothbrush, but hey, weird things happen when you’re over 35 and know how much a visit to the hygienist costs!  There’s a $50 Mother’s Day cashback offer on the Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Electric Toothbrush right now so it’s a great time to invest in beautiful teeth.  Details here.


Hate me if you must, but, I’m Becky with the Good Teeth.  Hair be damned, I can’t style it to save my life, but I’ve got the teeth on lock.  I can’t claim it’s due to an extensive oral health routine (the shame of it), pure genetics.  I even hate milk guys.

No braces, no fillings, just bright, shiny, healthy teeth.

I could put on weight (I have), leave the house without makeup (I do) but I’d always have my pearly whites to carry me through.  Flash a shiny smile and many a grievance is forgotten, items exchanged without the receipt, late pickups at kindy overlooked………

This was how Becky with the Good Teeth rolled until, approximately two years ago when I discovered my Motherhood Lifeblood – coffee.

And we all know the story from there.

Despite semi-regular appointments with the dental hygienist, I’m talking yearly guys, my once brilliant teeth have been showing signs of staining and increased plaque build-up.  I hate flossing with a passion so I know I don’t do myself any favours.

So with this in mind, and a vanity-driven desire to head into my 40’s with at least one part of my body on point, I’ve taken to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush with enthusiastic abandon.

It’s time to get my bad-ass smile back.

The box itself makes a bold claim – in a fairly large font so you know this is the real deal; ‘Whitens teeth in just 1 week’.  I was pretty, freaking excited about this and hoping no-one was pulling my leg as I ripped into the packaging to get the most beautiful toothbrush I’ve seen charging and ready to use.

Let’s discuss;

  • Rose gold accents on the toothbrush
  • A luxe rose gold charging glass. You simply put the toothbrush in the glass to charge!  It’s magic!  Actually, it’s not, it’s just awesome technology but magic goes better with a rose gold toothbrush mmkay?!
  • A charger travel case that’s so pretty it looks like it could be an evening clutch

Soooo, we’ve established the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush looks amazing and comes with two fantastic charging options.  But does it actually clean and whiten your teeth?

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush

It does and it does it like NO other toothbrush I’ve ever experienced.

The first time I used the DiamondClean, the crazy, buzzy, vibrating sensation made me squirm, but over the past 6 days of use I’ve become totally accustomed to it and now it doesn’t bother me at all.  Honestly, nothing would bother me after seeing and feeling how incredibly clean my teeth now are.

I mean SHINY clean btw.  Plaque removed from between my teeth clean.  Just left the hygienist clean.  Never had a cup of coffee or glass of red wine clean?  Oh, I have no doubt that’s coming.  My teeth are soooo much whiter and brighter already I am so excited.

One thing I was nervous about, totally unnecessarily as it turns out, was how the DiamondClean would feel on my gums.  I’ve been a solid manual toothbrush ‘scrubber’ my whole life.  My teeth never felt clean unless I used Medium bristles (against my dentist’s advice) and as previously mentioned, I may not floss as often as I should.  Hence, my poor gums often bled whilst brushing my teeth.  Total thing of the past; my gums have not bled once whilst using the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush.  Not once.

There are five brushing modes available; Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care and Sensitive modes – switching between them is intuitive and easy via the on/off button.  I love the 30-second Quadpacer intervals in Clean mode, signified by beeps.  It’s made me so much more aware of exactly how much time and attention I spend on each area of teeth.  Or didn’t spend as the case may have been!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush is an exceptional personal care product that I now can’t imagine living without.

It’s not cheap, this is true.  But, the potential health benefits and future savings on dentist visits are undeniable once you’ve been using the DiamondClean for just a couple of days.

I’m in love for sure.

For more info (ie technical stuff you might be interested in!), find out more about the DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush here.

Plus, There is a Mother’s Day $50 cashback available NOW until May 27th!  Details here.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Beauty Review Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush

 

 

Parenting and Ice Cream: When simple things are the best remedy

I inadvertently taught myself a good lesson this week;  despite my best intentions not to work on Monday’s as Nix is home from kindy, I found myself a participant in a continuous string of phone calls for over an hour, whilst I madly multi-tasked, wrote a difficult email I’d been dreading and stressed about the next deadline.

This was not how my summery Monday’s with Nix were supposed to go, in fact, where DID my summery Monday’s with Nix go?

IT’S AUTUMN!!!

Not to worry, antipodean New Zealand weather patterns say NO to seasonal conformity and say YES to 28° in the first week of March.

Hallelujah.

In need of an instant Monday-itis remedy I told Nix to ‘load up’, we were off to eat ice cream by the river.  

“No, you don’t have to get changed” – he was wet from water play at home.

“No, you don’t have to wear shoes” – we live in New Zealand!

“Yes, you can pick any flavour you like” – even though you are a creature of habit little darling and choose the same flavour every time.

Overseas travel forgotten, birthday parties agonised over…….a nondescript Monday afternoon had become my four-year-olds Best Day EVER.

The simplicity of a memory made, for the cost of a Jelly Tip and a Popsicle, was a lesson for me in ‘less is more’.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

Food nostalgia plays an important role in shaping cultural identity and as New Zealanders, we have our own culinary cues which many of us hold dear.  After 6 years of living in the states, upon touchdown in Auckland back in 2006, I was positively pining for a mince and cheese pie, some quality bread and Tip Top Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.  Combine those homesick-hunger-pangs with the imminent joy of introducing my new husband and toddler to my kiwi faves and I was one hangry, home-again traveler!

Growing up in NZ where many of us come from a farming or primary industry background, it’s no wonder as a Kiwi I feel a pang of familiarity and that ‘this is HOME’ feeling every time I crack open that iconic blue 2L tub and endeavour to peel off the perfect scoop of ice cream!  New Zealand milk and cream is coveted the world over mainly due to the pasture-fed lineage of hometown heroes, the NZ dairy herd. When one of our most iconic NZ owned companies, Tip Top, only uses fresh New Zealand milk and cream in their ice cream, it gives me hope that such an enduring taste of NZ will continue on in our freezers to share with our friends and families, making memories together for another generation to come.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

And so, Nixon and I sat and enjoyed our ice cream, a perfect #GoodtoShare moment, and then we ambled along the river, talking about crabs and if eels attack ducks and he got muddy (and loved it) and clambered and danced and sang and generally revelled in the peace and open space that is so easily forgotten (even though this spot is only 1.5km from our house!).  And as I felt my not-enough-hours-in-the-day anxiety begin to dissipate I quietly laughed at the knowledge that I had just proven a meme correct and how entirely 21st century Digital Mum that was of me;

“Ice cream solves everything”.

And Nixon wholeheartedly agreed.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Tip Top!  For more info head to: https://www.tiptop.co.nz/education/

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

Women’s Health: My first time using a Lunette Menstrual Cup

A year ago I never would have written this post.  A year ago I would have ignored/declined the invitation to try a menstrual cup, firmly placing the very notion in the ‘too hard/too hippy’ basket.

So why now?  The only answer I can come up with is simply; why not now?

My monthly period annoys the heck out of me.  It’s never been painful nor irregular, just heavy and inconvenient (a bit like me in the morning before I’ve had a coffee lol).  I’ve been using tampons my whole life, and while better than pads, they still totally suck.  They’re uncomfortable if not quite in the right position, they leak, they aren’t absorbent enough, a heavy flow day means frequent changes, they are expensive and require disposal, plus, they are just something else waking me at night and wanting attention – I’ve already got a husband and a 4-year-old taking up night-time hours #kthanksbyetampons.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

So earlier this week, with Christmas in New Zealand done and dusted and tent-life beckoning (always a PIA when you’ve got your period) I decided to trial a Lunette Menstrual Cup for the first time.  I’d been gifted one just before the holidays and had been planning to give it a whirl before our trip to Japan in January.

What did I think?  Short version; amazing, liberating, life-changing.  Long version; read on.

Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

First tip:  Get ready in advance.  I was all raring to go as soon as my period began but hadn’t opened the box or read the short set of instructions that accompany the Lunette.  In fact, I hadn’t even touched it!  There are two sizes available, I picked size 2 which is recommended for women who experience a heavier flow or who have given birth vaginally.  The silicone is super smooth and soft, but also much firmer than I anticipated.  After sterilizing my cup for 20 minutes in a pot of boiling water I was ready to go.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

The thing that puzzled me most about menstrual cups prior to using one, was placement.  A tampon sits so much higher than a cup and feels awful when it’s inserted wrong/low and feels like it’s going to fall out!  Yet, the Lunette cup sits low and you CAN’T FEEL IT!  It’s amazing, and I’m sure the imperceptibility is due to the flexible silicone moving with your body when you move.

Insertion/application, whatever, was easy, fold it in half and up she goes. A bit of a jiggle and you can feel the cup unfold – that’s it!  I was completely floored by how easy the process is and how completely ‘leak-free’ I feel when wearing the Lunette.  I realise that describing a state of being as ‘leak-free’ is a bit bizarre and a probably a complete misnomer, however, if you’ve experienced that tampon-angsty feeling when you know you could leak at any given time, you’ll totally understand what I mean!

The stem was the only thing I found uncomfortable and as recommended in the instructions I simply trimmed it until I found the optimal length.  I don’t actually use it for removal at all so cut it really short.

Am I converted?

Heck yes I am, I just wished I had been brave and tried a menstrual cup sooner.  The Lunette just makes so much sense; 

  • I feel completely leak free, even at night
  • I can go longer, up to 12 hours, without having to worry about reaching max capacity
  • I don’t feel like I’m going to get ‘caught out’ without another tampon on me when I need one
  • I haven’t yet, but know I’d be able to workout and run wearing a Lunette Menstrual Cup, something that was out of the question for me on heavy flow days with a tampon.
  • Cleaning/sanitizing is easy, there’s heaps of info here

In fact it’s all easy.  The only hard part about using a Lunette is in your head, once you’re over the mental hurdle you will never go back to tampons.  I never will, of this I’m convinced.

I can see how learning how to use a menstrual cup may be slightly more challenging for young girls, but to be honest, no more challenging than learning how to use a tampon.  The benefit of potentially NOT having to change a tampon/pad for the entire school day is incredible and totally worth the very little persistence that’s required to get super comfortable with using a Lunette Menstrual Cup.

There’s heaps of information on the Lunette New Zealand website, so check it out if you have any questions or are keen to make the switch – you won’t regret it!

 

 

 

Beauty Review: Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo

Fact: Dry shampoo is life.  I’m a fan.  Dove asked for my thoughts on their Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo and here they are internet, just for you! Thanks for making this post possible Dove.


There are very few beauty/haircare/skincare products that I religiously use every, single day because, at this point in my life, every day is very different.  We are still deep in the thick of under 5 parenting, how much sleep I’m going to get on any given night is a lottery and what time Nix (ergo, I) will wake is anyone’s guess.  Even on the days when I’ve planned ahead, worked backward and calculated what time I’ll need to leave the house, picked my outfit in advance, pre-empted the 2nd breakfast Nixon will request…….there’s still going to be a mad rush for the door.

Which means something has to give.

I’m not one of those multi-talented mavens that are able to drive and apply makeup simultaneously.  Heck, I can barely apply makeup while standing in my bathroom!  I simply can’t hide my sleep deprivation on the run, this kind of magic requires my full attention – or at the very least what’s left over after Nixon rightly clamours for most of it lol.

So what slips through the morning cracks on 9/10 days and settles under the cosy confines of a hat is my hair.  

I tell myself my hair’s thriving under the two-child regime which sees it mostly ignored, never washed more than 3 times per week  – if that – and rarely suffering through the indignity of a hot styling tool.  My hair and I have settled into a friendly routine and rotation of hairstyles as we move through the week, getting further away from the last shampoo and limping ever so slowly towards the next.  Which I can hopefully stretch out for ‘just one more day‘.

One of the true marvels of the modern world –  Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo, gives me that extra day between washes, as well as all the lols from dry shampoo memes!  I’m such a fan that I actually use it in two different ways, on both clean hair (I know!) and, not so clean hair.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Dry Shampoo Review

Two ways to use Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry ShampooNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Dry Shampoo Review

  • The spray and walk away: Obviously the reason for which it was designed, Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo is a greasy-gals saviour.  As indispensable to my morning routine as coffee, my dry shampoo helps me avoid the wet-hair kindy drop-off – the tell-tale sign that something went awry in your house that morning!  It’s such a quick pick-me-up as well; I just spray any questionable areas with Refresh + Care (usually around my hairline and centre part), massage into the roots and I’m done.  Excess oil is absorbed and my hair smells super fresh.
  • Clean hair Va-Va-Voom!  Styling my hair when it’s clean, or in fact, just doing anything as simple as pulling it back into a ponytail is a slippery, frizzy, fly-away nightmare.  It’s also very, very flat.  Creating texture is Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo’s superpower.  I swear once you volumise (not sure if that’s a word lol) your clean hair with dry shampoo, you’ll be a changed woman.  Ok, that might be a stretch, but your you hair will look amazing!  I use it exactly the same way as I do when I’m refreshing unwashed hair except I focus a bit more on the length as well as the roots.  This helps with body and grip if I’m trying something fancy lol.

I legit LOVE life hacks that make one of the busiest times in my day a little bit easier and leave me feeling great – bonus points for being able to grab Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo at the supermarket too

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Dry Shampoo Review

Summer Bedroom Refresh

Oh my lord it’s HOT!  Seriously, these temps in December are crazy, but crazy good for sure.  Being able to throw open the bedroom windows and freshen things up is so therapeutic for me.  Both of the boy’s rooms have had a big spring clean that included purchasing fresh, new linen for their beds.  Over the weekend, I finally had the time to do the same in our master bedroom.

You know those dumping grounds that ‘some’ of us have throughout the house?  I have two; one is our dining room table and the other is our bedroom.  It’s so odd that I despise clutter and mess yet the very place that should be somewhat of a peaceful sanctuary for Dave and I, has become the epicenter of chaos in our home.

Organising and decluttering our bedroom is a work in progress, so I’ll update you on that as I get to it in the future, but, as focusing on both the quality and quantity of hours spent asleep is a big priority for me heading into 2018 (thanks Fitbit lol), I decided to begin with a bed linen makeover.

Our prior duvet set was cozy, grey cotton jersey.  Lovely and snuggly and perfect for winter but it didn’t invoke any ‘light and bright” summery feelings whatsoever.  Despite my reservations (those reservations being a very sticky four-year-old and two dogs that love to sneak on the bed!) I knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything but 100% crisp white < insert sighing husband here.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

I flipped the bed’s colour palette inside out, opting for grey linen sheets this season and that fresh, white goodness for the duvet cover.  Texture was also a consideration, and I’m loving how our new bed linen provides lots of depth and variation, considering the very neutral colours I chose to work with.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

What do you guys think?  I’m loving how it came together.  The muted trio of white, natural and charcoal is exactly what I was looking for to draw the eye out of the room via our large windows, to the garden beyond – which is super lush and green right now.

That’s the fun part over, now to declutter, cull and organize!

Shop this look from Logan & Mason here;

Duvet Covers and European PillowcasesLangley Linen Knitted Throw $159.95, Solaris White Square Cushion $69.95, Cove Natural Square Cushion $89.95

The items above were all sourced from the extensive linen range at Logan & Mason with whom I collaborated on this post.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

 

 

Health – 5 Easy Ways to Improve your Sleep

This post was made possible by the world’s number #1 selling mattress protector, Protect-A-Bed, who know a thing or two about helping us get a good night’s sleep!


How many times have you caught yourself complaining about how tired you are, how you could sleep for days, how you need to go to bed earlier………only to repeat your unhealthy nocturnal habits over and over again?  Every.  Single.  Day.   Right?

Of all the health-related science that is becoming increasingly more available to consumers, info around the importance and wide-ranging benefits of adequate sleep is one field of research that provides equal benefit to all of us.  A good nights sleep is crucial to both our mental and physical well-being, often identified as the third pillar of health along with exercise and nutrition. 

If you’re wondering how much sleep is enough;  adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, school-age kids require 9-11 and pre-schoolers need 10-13 hours.  Nix heads to bed at 7 pm and wakes up at 6 am so he’s tracking well, Ethan (13) heads off at between 8.30 and 9 pm to wake at 6 am so he’s falling a bit short, but, it’s Dave and I who really need to hit the hay earlier.  We wake up at 6 am every day so our late night Netflix bingeing has got to stop!  In bed with the lights off by 10 pm at the latest should be what we are aiming for each evening.

Re-training our body clocks and resetting our natural circadian rhythms will no doubt take some time, but there are some tried and true tips for enhancing and encouraging sleep.  I’m working on introducing the 5 ideas below into our night-time wind-down.

Sleep, COME AT ME!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mattress Protector Review

5 Easy Ways to Improve your Sleep

  1. Routine – The human body LOVES routine.  Giving ourselves the same cues every day that it’s time to wind down and head to bed will set the scene for a great nights sleep.  Here’s my new sleep-prep plan; drink 500mls of water, take my vitamins – including magnesium, wash-up, relax on my Shakti mat and read for 20 minutes, then lights out – by 10pm!  Sounds so virtuous!
  2. Turn off the Tech – Just.  Do.  It.  Ethan is turning 13 next week and Dave and I had been allowing him to use his iPhone as an alarm clock.  Before we made a rod for our own backs later on when we are deep in the teenage years, we purchased him an actual clock and implemented a no-screen policy in his room – much to his disgust.  It’s well documented that the short wavelength blue light emitted by our digital devices disrupts sleep-inducing melatonin production.  Dave and I will be walking the walk and removing our chargers from the bedroom, this should also help with late night Candy Crush zone outs when we should be snoozing!
  3. Invest in your nest – Create a cozy, bedtime space that you crave at the end of a long day.  Think linens you love, a clutter-free environment that promotes a sense of calm as well as the New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mattress Protector Reviewopportunity for healthful sleep and don’t forget to start at the bottom with your mattress protector.  Look for one that is compatible with your needs; for eczema or allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin, do your research.  The entire range of Protect-A-Bed® products have been approved by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand’s Sensitive Choice Program plus, the TENCEL® range gets the tick with approval from the Eczema Association.  I’m switching all of our beds over to  Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors as the fitted sheet style is an absolute game-changer.  I can’t believe I’ve been struggling to make the beds with those super-annoying, corner-loop style protectors for so many years, it makes me shudder just thinking about them to be honest!
  4. Watch your temperature – I’m one of those annoying people who is cold all the time, so I LOVE being warm and snuggly in bed.  But, our body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, helping us both to fall and stay asleep.  Evidence also suggests that allowing the body’s temp to drop naturally whilst sleeping has a beneficial effect on metabolism. So, if you haven’t ditched the heavy, winter weight duvet yet this spring, here’s your reminder!
  5. Cut the consumption – Whether it’s nicotine, alcohol, caffeine or eating a large meal before bedtime, what you put in your mouth affects your quality of sleep.  Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, no surprises there and though alcohol may have the perceived effect of helping you drop off to sleep, hours later, after alcohol levels drop, you may find yourself awake, restless and struggling to nod off again.

I popped the Protect-A-Bed® king-size Traditional Cotton mattress protector on our bed last weekend and we have slept like babes this week.  No more crinkly, crunchy, plasticky feel which is awesome, but somehow the genius fabric is still waterproof and breathable – perfect for those nights (4/7 I’d say) when Nix sneaks into our bed.

Shop the full Protect-A-Bed® range here, or find a New Zealand retailer here.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mattress Protector Review

Win yourself a Stay New Cotton Terry Mattress Protector!

Leave me a comment below with your preferred size and I’ll pick a winner to receive 1 x Protect-a-Bed Stay New Cotton Terry Mattress Protector!

Competition closes 24th Nov 2017.

 

Female Hereditary Hair Loss – What you Need to Know

As a New Zealand women, I’ve grown up with the notion that much of my sense of self (and sometimes even self-worth!), is intrinsically associated with my appearance and how others, or more importantly, how I feel about my appearance at any given point in my life.

As normalised/wrong/gender biased as this may seem to some, for me, it’s simply a fact. I am a 37-year-old product of my environment and my physical characteristics and how I choose to present myself to the world do play a strong role in how I identify with my heritage, my family, my friends as well as strangers.

The body positive movement is forcing many of us to ask some hard questions about this very topic, about why the size or shape of our thighs should have any impact on how kick-ass we deem our femme-selves to be. But, our physical self is made up of much more than thighs, bums, mum-tums and bingo-wings (what remains of my triceps!). We love – or should try to love – our skin, our noses, our teeth, our big foreheads we inherited from our dads and, we probably do love our hair, at least on that one day each month we have time to wash and blow dry it!

Much is out of our control. We can go to the gym, exhibit full, disciplined control over what we eat and drink but we can’t control when our hair will begin to grey or if we will be the 1-in-3 women who will experience hair thinning or hair loss after age 30. Many women identify strongly with their hair, it can ground us and remind us of our heritage, styling it – or not styling it – can make us feel empowered, or simply……..beautiful. Our hair as females can make a statement, we can use it as a symbol of our beliefs and what we stand for, or in protest against what others feel we should believe in and stand for.

As such, female hereditary hair loss can be a devastating experience for many women. I was researching this piece whilst travelling, and amongst the crowds in airports and in close quarters on planes, I began to notice just how common it was among women.

Hereditary Hair Loss Facts
  • Most people lose between 50-100 hairs a day, which is considered normal hair loss; a consistent loss of 150 hairs a day is considered significant hair loss.
  • Can resemble an Evergreen tree pattern with the most extensive hair loss occurring on the top of the head and along the part.
  • If untreated, hair thinning can worsen over time.
Treating Hereditary Hair Loss

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Women's Regaine Female Hereditary Hair Loss

Don’t despair, ladies, there is help available and it’s an easy, quick addition to your daily beauty routine and doesn’t require expensive specialist appointments.

Women’s REGAINE® Foam is the first and only once daily foam clinically proven to regrow hair in women.

Once daily. At home. Available in pharmacies without a prescription.

Sounds amazing right? But how does it work?

Launched in 2016, Women’s Regaine works to reactivate hair follicles and stimulate hair growth with the added bonus that new hairs can be up to 48% thicker than before. Active ingredient Minoxidil 5% works to increase the supply of blood and nutrients to hair follicles, resulting in strengthening existing hairs and encouraging them to grow.

Clinical studies show results in as little as 12 weeks but if you can’t wait that long, the amaze stylists and hair professionals at Frenchie & Co have shared some of their go-to methods for styling thinning hair;

How to Style Thinning HairNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Women's Regaine

  • Create volume by backcombing around the crown of the head and part where female hereditary hair loss is most apparent.
  • Use your straightener to lock that volume in by clamping hair at the root with your straightener set on low heat – try 150°
  • Use products such as powder grip, dry shampoo and hair spray to maintain lift throughout the day.
  • Lighter colour hairy creates the illusion of more volume
  • Avoid a centre part
  • Lobs, bobs and side fringes work well

How to Care for Thinning Hair

  • Avoid tight, pulled back styles
  • Give your hair a break! Try a ‘gentle hair day’ once a week
  • Use sulphate free shampoos that don’t open the hair follicle
  • Avoid over-processing hair
  • Comb when wet, not dry

Women’s REGAINE® Foam is available from pharmacies nationwide RRP $85.99 for a 2-month supply, $129.99 for a 4-month supply.

This post was sponsored by Women’s REGAINE® Foam, all opinions expressed are my own.  

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

How I learned to Love my Hair in 45min

I’m addicted to my hair dryer.

And my hair straightener.

And not looking just like “I woke up like this’.

I don’t know exactly what my hair would look like if I didn’t see my hairdresser every 8 weeks to colour it.

My hair, quite simply isn’t ‘me’.

Age has taught me how to appreciate some wrinkles – I think of them as my happy lines, it has taught me how to say ‘No, I really can’t do that right now, I need to stay home with my kids’, and be entirely comfortable with that statement.  I rarely experience fomo or jealousy, I understand the importance of always being sincerely nice, even when I don’t want to be and as a (mostly!) fully-functioning adult, I can cook, work, spend and save in some semblance of responsible order.

I really should be able to leave the house with my hair in its natural state.

I scrolled through my Instagram profile and as I suspected there are no shots of me without straightened hair.  Not.  One.  On a sub-par hair day I simply wear a cap, even in winter.  I’m 37 years old and don’t know how to wear my hair so I look like myself.

That’s kinda sad right?

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

My hair today is all cowlicks and volume, there’s lots of it and not one strand is straight.  My waves go in all directions, without rhyme or reason, which is why I have always struggled to style it in a way I’m comfortable with.  I’ve thought about this a lot; how it is that, despite seeing more hairdressers than I can count and spending more money than I care to remember on my frizzy tresses,  I’ve never left a salon loving my hair.  I mean, sure, I walk out the door loving how the stylists have made my hair look……………….but that’s an entirely different thing.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

Last week as part of the Dove Love Your Hair campaign, I met with a new hair stylist for the first time.  She had no preconceptions about my hair or about how I usually wear it.  She looked at it, she washed it and she naturally styled it, following its own (unruly) direction.

And I LOVED how it looked.

How it felt.

How it made me feel.

It was the fastest, but most meaningful hair appointment I’d ever had in my life.  Without projecting all of my standard, hair-hate onto yet another stylist (“it’s too frizzy, boofy, messy, unpolished”), I had allowed her the opportunity to respect my natural waves and run with it.  Something I’d never attempted to do before.

Ironically, wearing my hair naturally would cut styling time, reduce damage and require less product than my regular dry and iron routine – which I can’t be bothered doing most days anyway, hence the hat.

How do I feel now?

Liberated.  Seriously.

It may seem a little melodramatic, after all, we are only talking about HAIR, but, over the years I’d constructed a little ‘curated’ template of how my hair should look and feel ie straight, shiny, and contained!  What I learnt was how to style my hair in a way that’s quick, totally doable at home and which celebrates my quirky waves in a way which makes me feel amazing.  I’m finally ready, after 37 years, to wear my hair naturally, with confidence and love my hair.

Tips for Styling Wavy Hair

  • Brush hair before washing
  • Wash gently, not vigorously.  I’m using Dove Nourishing Oil Care shampoo and conditioner.
  • Use a mitt diffuser rather than a rigid model.  This dries hair while maintaining curl without frizz
  • Twist curls to give shape and prevent fly-aways

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Love your Hair Shampoo Review

This awesome opportunity was made possible for me thanks to Dove and their fab #LoveYourHair campaign.